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12/2/2004
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American Eagle Overhauls Its Online Store

The retailer is implementing ATG's software to improve customer service, add features, and make it easier for its merchants and marketers to manage content on the site.

American Eagle Outfitters Inc. is revamping its entire online store, www.ae.com, to improve customers' experience and to let its merchants and marketers manage and customize content on the site.

The retailer will use Art Technology Group Inc.'s Customer Experience Platform as the new site's foundation, says David Brumback, director of operations at American Eagle Direct. "This implementation will give us the technical foundation to continue delivering great customer experiences for many years to come," Brumback says. "Upgrading to ATG's technology will help us provide the foundation we need to continue improving our customer's online experience. In our market segment, this is critical to future growth."

The platform contains three core applications that American Eagle will be rolling out: marketing, commerce/sales, and service. The marketing app will let the company manage online and offline campaigns by integrating E-mail and the Web, and also provide customer profiling, market segmentation, targeted content delivery, and scenario-based application workflow. The commerce/sales application will help American Eagle maintain price lists, manage product catalogs, and set up shopping carts and checkout. It also offers tools to manage inventory and analyze why customers abandon transactions before they're completed. The service app will integrate the company's online store with its physical call center, and will provide a knowledge-based service for customer questions on the Web.

Additionally, American Eagle will use ATG's A/B software to test Web marketing variables such as promotions, products, and navigation in order to adapt elements of the company's site to match customer preferences.

The business toolset provided by ATG will also make it easier for American Eagle's merchants and marketers' to manage and customize content on ae.com and move content changes into production with minimal IT involvement, says Brumback. "This will allow our IT staff to focus their resources forward on more strategic changes to our site versus day-to-day tactical changes," he says.

Earlier this year, FootLocker Inc. selected ATG's Customer Experience Platform and launched an ATG-powered online store, www.NFLshop.com, last month. Other ATG customers include American Airlines, AT&T Wireless, Best Buy, Hewlett-Packard, Merrill Lynch, Philips, Procter & Gamble, Target, Warner Music, and Wells Fargo. Pricing for the Customer Experience Platform ranges between $250,000 and $1.5 million, depending on the level of implementation, the size of the company, and other related factors.

"We're trying to build for [American Eagle] full integration with the online and call center and future integration with the store as well," says Scott Todaro, director of retail at ATG. "This will allow American Eagle to understand what customers are buying, the way they like to shop, and at what prices, and they can create a relevant personalized customer experience either over the phone, online, or within the store."

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